True, reasons can be cited for this $777,763 increase in wagering. This year there were nine races as compared to eight the previous year and secondly the fertile California betting market was on line this year with no exposure last year. Still, the horseplayers have to warm up to the product and indeed they did.
Of the nine races, four were stakes races: The $25,000 Cactus Flower, two Breeders’ Futurities, each worth $50,000 and the $25,000 Cactus Flower. The one things all four stakes had in common was, each of the winners won by going wire-to-wire, or nearly so.
The track was rated muddy for the first five races and then upgraded to good for the remaining four races.
The 4-year-old Camille ($5.20), a winner of 3 of 11 races, was first out of the gate with Juan Rivera up, and first to the wire by 1 3/4 lengths. The favorite Aware was second, 6 ¾ lengths clear of Toyon Bay who finished third in the field of six.
Trained by Manny Ortiz for owner Ramiro Meraz-Martinez, Camille covered the 6 ½ furlongs in 1:17.14.
Camille is by Rocky Bar.
Az Breeders’ Futurity, Fillies, 2-year-olds
The Molly Pearson-trained Myrna Lou ($6.40) redeemed herself as favorite after failing to fire in that role in her previous start, the ATBA Sales Stakes. Assuming command soon after the start, Myrna Lou and Aldolfo Morales was a neck clear of Anita Sunset with Tactical Rocket third in the field of nine.
Owned by Bar Diamond Ranch, Myrna Lou covered the 6-furlongs in 1:11.47.
Myrna Lou is by Top Hit.
Az Breeders’ Futurity, colts & geldings, 2-year-olds
Overlooked in the wagering was 10-1 Prospector’s Blues ($23.60) who in winning the Futurity was not only winning his first stakes but his first race.
Ridden by Chris Russell for trainer Robert Hazel, Prospector’s Blues took the lead, relinquished it between calls, then re-took the lead and held on for 1 ¼ victory over the hard-charging Java Jungle with Hawkeye Gold third in the field of 10.
Owned by Michael Feigenbaum, Prospector’s Blues covered the 6-furlongs in 1:11.09.
Prospector’s Blues is by Benton Creek.
Cactus Wren, 3-Year-Olds & Up
Rockin Home ($20.20) was never more than a half-length clear of a chasing calvary charge of rivals, but Geovanni Franco had it measured to win by a neck over Silvanus with Mo Rock third in the field of ten.
Owned by Tamara Metzen and trained by David Van Winkle, Rockin Home covered the 6 ½ furlongs in 1:16.60.
Rockin Home is by Rocky Bar.